What does society do when it is made to slow down?

photoforblog

Each day has brought a new development in the spreading of COVID-19. As I am developing my online classes for Yoga and Ballet for the rest of the semester at Ohio State University, I find it difficult to concentrate. Not because I have two beautiful girls (4 and 7) asking for yogurt every five minutes, but because I’m disappointed and sad, and a little because of the yogurt thing.

After our first spring break, I’m already missing the graduate student cohorts that dwell in our OSU Department of Dance and as we prepare for virtual classes I’m missing my students and the normalcy that I had just begun to find in our semester. It takes me a while sometimes. Now, we all begin to find our new normal. What will that look like? What does a society do when it is told to stay in and distance ourselves? Ways of resilience are now a necessity. Ohio has told all restaurants to close their doors, thankfully delivery and pick up are still available for some. My girls are school-less, possibly til the end of the year and everyone is walking around with an energy akin to holding your breath. I’m now tasked with teaching my child, virtually teaching my classes, and virtually taking classes through the rest of the year that were primarily lab and community-based.

What does a society do once it is told to slow down? I’ve already begun taking control of what I can. I am both happy for some semblance of schedule and exhausted by the level I have to keep it together for the girls. I am required, although I have a hard time focusing on it, to upload new syllabus, learning goals, and grade book for my now online movement courses. I’m thankful for various apps and Youtube providers that already have movement online for me to share with my students. I’m thankful to my cohort for the ongoing texts. I’m thankful for Instagram and Facebook that make me feel more connected to the world. I am grateful for the extra time with my kids, although way too much time, I think they are grateful for this too. I look forward to classes starting and information for my 7-year-olds school to find out what is recommended for her future education. I look forward to seeing and feeling what this means for all of us.

What do you look forward to?

Tilt World: Smoke and Mirrors

smoke-tiltbrush

Concept
Tilt World rehearsals (Jan 2020 – May 2020) are geared toward building a set improvisational score or group of scores to be used once more dancers are brought into the fold.

Methodology
Today’s rehearsal began with the accumulation improvisation from last rehearsal, digging deeper into different brushes, colors and textures with different tempos and repetitions of movement. In taking detailed notes and ending each rehearsal with a clear written documentation including questions, I have a clear place to begin to ask and answer more questions. Some technical questions are best researched outside of designated rehearsal time.

Inside Virtual Reality
Looking at my hand while it is painting and remembering the movement inside my body at the same time is a very different mental process than when doing this movement without Tilt Brush. It feels similar to patting your head and rubbing your tummy, but instead you are aiming to look at a trail of paint while feeling your body so you can remember what the whole body does after the trace is created. The paint trace ends up being an “aboutness” of the movement instead of a specific archive. Since paint only comes from one end of the brush I have to make specific decisions about where the brush is on my body, whether distally painting from the hand as an extension of the spine or attached to the hip, foot, knee, or other.

The smoke brush continues to create a dispersed movement after you create with it. I used this brush today and ended by slowing and looking at what I created. Turning in a circle, I’m able to see the smoke move and the intricate pathways the chaotic movement created prior to this.

I also used the Mirror function later in the rehearsal which creates a division in the infinite blackness of the virtual space where the other side has a reflection of what you are painting in real time. I found a very curious effect happen when I watched my reflection painting, because it is not exactly what I am painting, but the reverse. It creates a really inquisitive effect.

Questions and Moving Forward
Does it matter if I reproduce the movement “correctly” after the first iteration of improvisation? The difference and trail of remembering and correcting is interesting. I think the answer is no? It is about the effort and physical thinking.

I remembered that in the Oculus Quest you can record live what you are doing, like what we did in the walk through for our VR Poltergeist room. I’m going to try this next rehearsal to live record what is happening while I’m painting.

I also need to research the audio and the controller settings on the Vive. You can do a lot of modifications with the controllers. Can I configure the controller so I can paint out of two hands/two controllers?

I also want to incorporate resizing and moving whole traced improvisations because I believe you need two hands to do these actions and this will make the palette hand more active even if I don’t achieve two paint brushes.

Tilt World: Solo Rehearsal

IMG_20200213_110118

Documentation

I set up my phone to record a few improvisations and tests and took pictures of my 1st solo set up throughout the ACCAD’s Motion Lab. It took about an hour to set up and 15 minutes to break down. I imagine as I get more familiar with the room I will be able to set up a little quicker. In the future I hope to save the visual score in Tilt Brush as well.

Developed Improvisation Studies

Part 1
I created a detailed improvisation study incorporating repetition and color change in order to show an archive of the movement I’ve created.

Part 2
Once a sequence of movement is solidified mentally and physically I am able to retrograde the movement. Immediately retrograding was very confusing. It is hard to tell where the line begins and ends and what movements were done to create this line and not just trace the line back with your hand. Since all the movements are not recorded, just the hand, it becomes important to discover what about the movement in that moment I want to record. Do I put my hand on my pelvis to record pelvis movement and perhaps weight? How do I record a fast shift in weight? Will changing brushes help with that? For example, if the Neon brush has a continuous repetition after drawn toward the ground will that show a strong weight toward the ground such as falling?

Retrograding improvised movement in the virtual environment is something that I will have to work up to and will require more rehearsal.

Paying attention to my focus is very important. The focus must be on the drawing hand or other groups of paint at all times or pathways are not projected and witnessed.

Paint brushes that have movement after being painted are very exciting and include:

  • Neon is very interesting because it traces itself creating a representation of the tracing I might have done earlier.
  • Electricity wiggles like lightning
  • Fire has a subtle texture that moves along the line
  • Stars don’t show the line drawn, but moves along a trajectory
  • Snow is similar to stars

MVIMG_20200213_113309

New Questions:
Can I record from inside the Vive or Oculus in real time so I can watch the progression and creation of the world after it has been completed? Instead of just a snapshot of what was done? I’ve seen other artists record their progression on youtube, how is this done?

Is it possible to move the headset around without your head in it? Does the headset track whether your head is in it or not? This is interesting for possible audience participation. I tried this below with questionable results.